Aim: This cross-sectional case-control study evaluated the serum carnitine level in children
with urinary tract infection (UTI).
Background: Acute pyelonephritis (APN) is a common bacterial infection of the upper urinary
tract in children which may also lead to renal damage and tubular atrophy. Activation of inflammatory
mediator bedside alterations in the cytokines and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
play a striking role in the development of tissue damage after pyelonephritis. L-carnitine as one of
the most potent natural antioxidant agents by inhibition of lipid peroxidation may protect cells and
tissues from damage.
Methods: A total of 30 children with UTI (as a case group) and 30 healthy children (as a control
group) which matched in terms of age and sex were enrolled in this study. All children were evaluated
and compared with respect to age, sex, weight, body mass index (BMI) and serum carnitine
level. Serum carnitine level was determined using serum carnitine ELISA kit.
Results: Demographic and clinical data such as age, sex, weight and BMI were not statistically significant
between the two groups. The serum carnitine levels were significantly lower in the case
group with UTI than the control group. Mean serum carnitine concentration in the case group and
in the control group was 36.56 ± 9.87 μmol/l and 62.8±21.35, respectively (P = 0.001).
Conclusion: According to our study, it could be concluded that low serum L-carnitine level is
linked to UTI in children. Therefore, further studies are needed to confirm our results.